Volunteer Karen has been with Sight Advice for 2 years, which in comparison to a lot of our volunteers, is a relatively short time. Karen, however, is a multi-tasker and has made a big impression in her time with us. Karen hosts outreach sessions, as well as helping out in the office. Her friendly and can-do attitude is great to have around and when Karen became interested in the Circles project we knew this would also be a fantastic attribute to have for any of the people she supported.

Karen had just started to meet up with Ann when the pandemic got in the way. Ann had been wanting to get back out to the cinema and theatre but her confidence in going it alone prevented her. Karen helped her rediscover her love for musicals and they visited the local cinema, having tea and cake afterwards and making it into a bit of an occasion.

When the lockdown started Karen continued to keep in touch with Ann over the phone and provided a reassuring voice when she had to make the hard decision to move from her home to access support from relations. This was difficult as Ann cherished her home and independence. Karen continued to phone Ann, as well as keeping in touch the old-fashioned way through letters. Karen also provided a physical link to her home as she regularly picked up and dropped off Ann’s prescriptions with a cheery and socially distanced wave!

Karen had worried that the relationship they had started to build prior to lockdown would be lost, but we knew that her empathetic, humorous and considerate manner ensured a real and continuing connection with Ann. Ann is now back at home and both Karen and Ann are looking forward to the time when our volunteers are able to support people face to face again. They have a lot of cake to catch up on!!

This is just one example of how, although the circumstances are more different than anyone could possibly imagine, our Circle supporters continue to find ways to keep the community thriving.

“A big thank you to all the volunteers at Sight Advice. Karen has been most helpful to me and I am most grateful. She has collected and delivered my prescription to…….. where I am staying. She has also kept in touch by phone…. It has been good keeping in touch when we can’t meet. Hopefully for not too much longer.”  – Ann